A quick double-shot of tries from the Gold Coast Titans has put St George Illawarra's finals chances to the sword, with the visitors claiming a 14-10 victory at Kogarah tonight.
While 24 points were scored on the night, only two of them came in the first 45 minutes of the contest - a Zac Lomax penalty goal putting the Dragons ahead 2-0 in the first half, a lead they maintained into the break and beyond.
The first tryscorer ended up being Jacob Host, who ran onto a Ben Hunt crash ball after 48 minutes. A relatively easy conversion for Zac Lomax saw the home side spring out to an 8-0 lead, having dominated possession since the resumption of play after halftime.
But as soon as they looked good, things fell apart. Their right edge defence was exposed with Phillip Sami taking advantage on the Titans' first set after the Host try and the Gold Coast winger ensured the visitors were on the board, although Ash Taylor's failed sideline conversion meant the margin remained 4.
Both sides locked horns again for another twenty minutes after the Sami try, with the Saints fighting to hold their lead. They eventually extended that lead with a penalty goal eight minutes from fulltime - but that decision would come back to haunt them.
After Lomax's two-pointer handed the hosts a six-point buffer, the Titans hit the go-button and first managed a try through Tyrone Peachey after a clever grubber hit the post, fooling the Red V back-men. Peachey grounded the unattended ball and Jamal Fogarty's conversion evened the ledger.
Fogarty would then go on to play the hero a minute later, after a centre-field bust saw the late bloomer claim what would be the match winning try.
He missed the conversion on his own kick and the Saints ultimately had to resort to a short kickoff with 90 seconds left, but couldn't penetrate the Titans' line on their only remaining set.
The Dragons narrow finals chances now rely on winning most - if not all - of their remaining four matches. That project starts next Sunday evening in Townsville when they face the lowly Cowboys. The Titans' season is officially over despite the win, but they do have two favourable contests ahead. They face last-placed Canterbury next Saturday afternoon in Sydney before hosting Brisbane a week later.